Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Halloween in Bellisseria

By Bixyl Shuftan

So what's the Linden Home continent, Bellisseria, offering for Halloween? As these homes aren't as modifyable as places on the mainland, some might thing not very much. But actually there is. The Lindens have a fun game going on. Plus there are a couple fun places to see.

A few days ago, we reported on the "Great Trick or Treat Event," which was about to take place. Taking a peek the first night, I went ahead and grabbed a HUD for the trick or treating. As I was in the Belliserian community group, I didn't have long to wait to find to place as homeowners were letting people know their place had a pumpkin and giving a SURL. 

Some places had decked out their homes for Halloween as well. One had a mockup of the Belliserian Slenderman, and the homeowner was nearby a chainsaw, which encouraged me to make a quick retreat after getting the candy. But not everything went as planned. Sometimes I'd end up inside the house  Another thing that went wrong from the sound of Belliserian group chatter was some homeowners didn't deactivate their security systems, which they weren't supposed to have to begin with. The result was a number of trick or treaters getting thrown out, getting a trick instead of a treat.

Despite the mishaps, some people were racking up some good candy scores. Already I've heard of a few claiming to have gotten over a hundred, so the competition for the ten "deady bears" is intense. But others are just going about at their own pace. One guy commented the Trick or Treat event was giving him the opportunity to explore the Linden Home continent and what it offered.

Besides the Trick or Treat going on, the Haunted Neighborhood from last year is back in the Millbank sim. The place is just as creepy as I remember it. One thing I forgot to mention last year was the haunted balloon tour. Just grab the red balloon and hang on as it takes you for a spin around the creepy neighborhood while taunting you, "Two paths diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one where people die... BAHAHAHAAH!!!" But eventually you land, "Darn... another survivor. This is going to ruin my 1 star Uber rating."

Picking up the flashlight from the table is recommended as it gives you a little light to see, and there are plenty of creepy and goulish sights from one house with a carnivorous plant making sickening slurping sounds, another with a creepy doll collection, a house that outright explodes with the sounds of people screaming, and more. 

Some people were traveling in groups, possibly for security. Though one group I encountered while exploring didn't appreciate the "creepy fox" around. I should note that sometimes lag will cause people to slow down a little, especially when there's a lot of people at the sim, which can make things a bit nerve wracking when you're trying to leave a place that really gave you the willies.

Oh, and you can now get a Bellisseria stamp here.

 Millbank (217/38/23).

At the Bellisseria Fairgrounds, "Hammieween II" is taking place. Advertised as being "presented by the Bellisseria Animal Sanctuary," with two hamsters in costume on the event advertisement, this place is less scary, and more spooky fun than your run of the mill Halloween happening.

Hammieween takes place in a skybox well above Bellisseria Fairgrounds. It starts off as a walk through a spooky trail, then leads to a party area made up of stones and slimy spaces, with a DJ booth with coffin-shaped speakers. There's also a haunted house that looks abandoned with much of the place crumbling and a ghost in the bathroom. But the black cat in one place suggests maybe someone's been coming by.

 Bellisseria Fairgrounds (163/208/617). 

Before wrapping things up like an Egyptian mummy, when checking the map over Bellisseria, I happened to notice an orange spot on the map. When going online and heading over, it turned out to be one homeowner trying to be The Great Pumpkin. 

That's it for now from the Linden Home continent. If you have any trick or treating tales, or any other Halloween story, feel free to write a reader submission about it. For now, Happy Halloween, in Second Life and real life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, October 22, 2021

A Look At The Sci-Fi Expo

By Bixyl Shuftan

From Friday October 8 to Sunday October 17, 2021, the Sci-Fi Expo took place in Second Life. Subtitled "A Journey to New Eden," it was a celebration of science-fiction (and to some extent fantasy), it also had the purpose of raising money for Making Strides for Breast Cancer. 

The event took place in six temporary sims near the permanent American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society 2 sims. They were Aperture, New Eden, Arecibo II, The Remnant, Genisis Spire, and The Old Dam. For those not familiar with the "Portal" game, "Aperture" was the name of the corporation. The "IPink ICan" sim was host to the "I Pink I Can" event that took place at the same time. 

One minor complaint I've heard from a few Relayers is that some of the Sci-Fi Cons and Expos seemed a little plain in how they were made, compared to events like the Relay Weekend. 

This wasn't so much the case this time. The sims appeared to me to be much better done.

Lately, my schedule can be occasionally unpredictable. While I wasn't at the opening day of the Expo, I was able to be at several events the following day on Saturday the 9th. From 10 AM to Noon SL time at the main stage in Aperture, "DJ Kayla and the Roos," members of the Roos team of the Relay for Life, were playing onstage to a crowd.

 "Who you gonna call?" The Roos in this case.

From 1 to 4PM, there were the "Combat Bumper Boats ... Grab your friends and your water wings for some fun on the high seas!  Rez a bumper boat and challenge your friends to see who will remain dry, and who will be all wet behind the ears.  This is definitely a fun time you don't want to miss!"

The rules were fairly straightforward. Click on the boat rezzer, sit on the boat, select a color, then go at it in a free-for-all with no score. 

The boats when rezzed all started with 100 points of health. When they hit the shore, they lost a little health. When hitting another boat, they would lose more health. If there was a method to make another boat lose more health than you, I never did find it. Occasionally, there was a cartoon "smash," "zoing," "boing," or some other animated effect floating in the air.

There was also a water gun one could squirt at other players. I wasn't sure if it did a tiny amount of damage, or none at all. But we were using them anyway.

From 6 to 9PM that night was the superhero-themed "Bat Dance." As the narrator put it, "Don your super suit and enter the depths of the Batcave for a party that will even put a smile on the face of the Dark Knight!  It's a super night of dancing that will be absolutely heroic!" 

We ended up having a, super, time.

 On Tuesday at 8PM, it was DJ Mattie's turn on stage.

 "It's time for another event at the Sci-Fi Expo Main Stage. Performing at 8PM is the talented DJ Mattie. 'Shi was raised on country music, blues, bluegrass and classic rock. Shi still has a great passion for these genres, country being hir favorite. Music has always gotten hir though some of the worst times in hir life, and now shi love to share some of these wonderful tunes with folks here on SL' Come on over as we kick cancer's behind and have a fun time doing it."

 Someone passed around a few hula hoops. 

And there was quite a diverse audience.

I also decided to give the Sci-fi Expo quest a try. 

The plot of the quest involves Earth trying to broker a peace between the various factions of the colony world of New Eden. But the global communication network is down, and one of the research assistants from Earth has gone missing with a data crystal with information the delegation needs to get things going.

But as anyone whom has done these kinds of quests before, it wasn't that easy. Even when you find the research assistant, your quest has only just begun. She plugged an ancient computer into the communication network. 

In trying to find out what's going on, you discover a powerful artificial intelligence in the alien computer, which doesn't necessarily put Humanity's interests as priority.

You also run into the Greslok, the planet's native race.

 Much of their home area is littered with starship debris, which the human government has promise to clean up, eventually.

As it turns out, the Greslok live simply now, but long ago were more advanced and created a powerful artificial intelligence they ended up going to war with one another resulting in the destruction of technology, including the AI.

With the AI now seemingly reactivated, you go to turn off the main source of it's power.

You don't succeed in turning off the power. But you do get the artificial superinteligence to think about it's situation. In the end, a truce is agreed to, and it agrees to share some teraforming technology.

That's pretty much what I saw at the Sci-fi Expo. I did hear on Discord that on the day before it's close, it had raised more than 1,750,000 Lindens, or $7000 US dollars.

 There was more of course. Wildstar Beaumont would take a number of pictures and post them on his Flickr. And one can check out more on the blog (here). 

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, October 15, 2021

Burn2 Continues

From Gemma Cleanslate

The Burn2 event continues with gusto. There are a few more days to get over to the 12 regions and look at the marvelous builds that fill the place. They are amazing, and some mysterious, because of the event name, The Great Unknown.

Parties go on at the several stages day and night and if you look at the calendar on the website you can see the place and time. There is a huge billboard at the entrance to the playa with the time and stage. There are little posters in the barrels at the entrance with landmarks not only to the stages but to other points of interest on the playa.

Take a  look at this lively party at the Transcendence stage. Djs are spinning tunes, mostly forms of trance and the audience is loving it! Dj Puddles has a live camera showing the playa above the stage . Just enable media when you get there and click the screen to get the view of builds around in the regions.

On the Main Stage one day a favorite of mine, Steve Who, performed. He is a sax player in real life and in Secnd Life from Scotland and plays every week at SLEA. Another performance there was the charming Angelicus Boy’s Choir that is much loved as shown by the attendance.

Tempest Rosca has this delightful forward thinking installation . Look into the globe to see what that robot may be thinking.

Everyday at 12 noon and 6pm slt the Lamplighters gather to have a procession to the temple lighting the hanging lanterns along the way. There is room for the community visitors to join the procession at the end of the line so jump on. When the procession reaches the temple they dance in the circle . It is a lovely experience so try to attend one some day . You have until Sunday when the temple will burn . The Man will burn on Saturday.

Here is the calendar of events at the playa until that time. Enjoy your time there and say hello to me if I am Ranger at that time. Say hello to any Ranger you see . We are there to assist in anyway you can.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Preparing For The Burn

By Gemma Cleanslate

I took a tour of the 11  regions of the October Burn2 which is “The Great Unknown."  There is a lot of building going on and some fun already. 

I started out on the balloon tour to see if it was working and, yes it is. But it still under construction. Bar Tenk always does a wonderful job with his tours of the playa. It is a great way to get an overview of the playa. One can hop off at any time if something catches your eye. 


At this point trucks and cranes are parked everywhere with materials for many builds as the creators get ready to fill their parcels.

Early creators already have their installations in place. Minka Angel (Saraminka Nova)has so many activities she is involved in on the playa she has her Kid’s camp all set, kids of all ages that is. She allowed me to take a picture so you can look for it to go have some fun! It is filled with games you will love.

I ran into an artist friend of mine, elan (Ineffable Mote)  standing by his trailer examining his installation. 

He is almost ready for visitors and has his porto potty at the corner of his plot for them annd for passersby .

Not only did Shimada Yoshikawa  finish his gorgeous stage but he and and Gwenn Yoshikawa (bubbles1724) were already were enjoying a dance under the arches. Shimada also created the main stage that I will leave for you to discover.

In the town of Gerlach which houses offices , saloons and the entrance to the playa there are aids for new avatars and loads of gifts so don’t miss them when you visit the playa.  

The opening is less than a week away!!

Gemma Cleanslate